LAUREL — Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel will take at least one extra day to decide whether to try to revive his lawsuit that challenged his Republican primary loss to six-term Sen. Thad Cochran.
McDaniel campaign spokesman Noel Fritsch said yesterday that McDaniel will take until tomorrow to decide whether to ask the Mississippi Supreme Court to overturn the lawsuit’s dismissal. McDaniel’s camp originally said he would announce a decision today.
Judge Hollis McGehee dismissed the lawsuit Friday, saying McDaniel waited too long to file it.
The lawsuit asked the judge to either declare McDaniel the winner or order a new runoff. It claimed the runoff was spoiled by voting irregularities.
McDaniel, a tea party-backed candidate, led a three-person primary June 3. But certified results show Cochran defeated McDaniel by 7,667 votes in the runoff three weeks later.
Turnout jumped significantly for the runoff, including in predominantly African-American precincts where Cochran fared well. McDaniel has called the runoff a “sham” and criticized Cochran for appealing to voters who traditionally support Democrats.
Before hearing the arguments about dismissing the case, McGehee had set the trial on the McDaniel lawsuit to begin Sept. 16 and end by Oct. 6. However, he said he would not block state officials from preparing for the Nov. 4 general election.
The state Board of Elections Commissioners met Aug. 26 and set the general election ballot with Cochran as the Republican nominee, former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers as the Democratic nominee and Shawn O’Hara as the Reform Party candidate.
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